From the Jacket
In southern Karnataka, 4 small villages are world-famous for tourism: Belur, Halebid, Somanathapur and Shravan Belgola. The first three of them show Hoysala temples, richly carved Hindu temples dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. Shravan Belgola shows a Jaina colossus on top of a hill, the largest monolithic statue found in India, dating from the end of the 10th century.
This tourist book is the first that aims to present the complete group of Hoysala temples to a large audience. Not only the tree famous temples are discussed and illustrated, but also more than 10 others that are extremely worth visiting for tourists and that were, until now, only known to archaeologists.
Gerard Foekema was born in 1943 and today lives in Amsterdam, the old and historic capital of Holland. He studied physics, philosophy and art-history and graduated in 1969. he visited India for the first time in 1976, purely as a tourist, and fell in love with old Indian architecture, both Hindu and Muslim. His first trip for study purposes was made in 1979, and since then he has returned to India every two or three years. After a number of smaller articles written for journals in Holland, a two-volume monograph on Hoysala temples of his hand was published in Delhi in 1994. Another large monographs, this time on Later Calukya temples, is in preparation.
For me, enjoying Later Calukya and Hoysala temples is one of the great pleasures of life. I love these temples because their plans are so logical and natural, because their architecture is so ingenious, and because their execution is so rich. After completing a full scale work on the architecture of Hoysala temples in 1993, it is a pleasure to now present a smaller book for the use of tourists.
More than a hundred of Hoysala temples survive today, and I think more than 10 of them to be of interest to the average tourist. The most important message I have to convey is that the large temples in Belur and Halebid give a marvelous impression of Hoysala sculpture, but only a poor impression of Hoysala architecture, because they are seriously incomplete. Visiting a few other villages in the neighbourhood of Belur and Halebid is very rewarding, because there smaller but complete temples can be found. Several of these small and modest temples perfectly show the logic and beauty of Hoysala architecture, as is among the well-known temples only done by the famous complete temple found in Somanathapur.
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